Sunday, October 26, 2008

a book treasure

several weeks ago i found an old book about a raccoon called Masked Prowler at a library book sale. i stop in regularly looking for good books and sometimes i am rewarded by finding an out-of-print book or a hard cover edition of a favorite author. in this case, it was a vintage book with nice illustrations about nature. upon closer examination i noticed the authors: john and jean george. could that be the same jean george as in jean craighead george, the newbery award winner and author of such titles as My Side of the Mountain and Julie of the Wolves? i did some checking on line and found it was indeed the same author and this was one of her earlier books! i also found that there were actually more titles in the series American Woodland Tales. others in the series include a story about a fox and mink. oh, how i wished i had the book about the fox. we are studying canines in B's science book, and i would love to have this as a go-along book. i checked the online auctions and found only paperback editions. and of course, i wouldn't settle for that. (i know i'm quirky, but i like my book sets to match!)

so you can image my delight last week when i returned to that book sale and found this:

Vulpes: The Red Fox
it is an ex-library book, but it is in very good condition.

the illustrations are beautiful pen and ink drawings by jean george. the reader is taken along the trails of the red fox with such detailed and accurate descriptions of the woodland forest, its flora, fauna, and seasons. it was fun to see B recognize the wild flowers mentioned in the story as we were reminded of our own springtime hike. i love 'living books' that inspire beautiful imagery, curiosity, learning, and imagination!
"May came to the Maryland woods and opened the purple blossoms of the pawpaw. the May-apples bloomed under their green umbrellas, and the Jack-in-the-pulpits stood straight and tall in their green parishes. The floor of the woods was splashed with spring flowers and the warblers flew in from the South. Some stayed to nest, others paused briefly during the day, then resumed their flight northward with the setting of the sun."

i recommend this book with a small warning to those with sensitive children. it is very realistic in describing the food chain and the conflict between human hunters and the animals. it might be disturbing to some tender hearts. B was concerned, but commanded that i read on!

everyday gift: discovering an unexpected treasure on a dusty book sale shelf

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